Making New Year’s resolutions always feels so great. We vow to exercise, avoid sweets, get eight hours of sleep a night, and other virtuous concepts. By mid-January, however, many of us are already wishing we’d been more lenient with our goals!
Seeking new motivation to stay on your diet? You asked for it, and we’ve got it with these new food discoveries:
1. Sugar-free cake, brownie, and frosting mixes
It’s become a cliche: you want to have your cake and diet too. Now you can, thanks to Pillsbury. The sugar free cake mixes come in two flavors, yellow and devil’s food. Although both are called “moist supreme” varieties, the devil’s food flavor seems to be less dry in texture. However, I experimented and discovered that if you cut the yellow cake in squares, then pour about a fourth of a cup of fruit-juice-packed, sugar-free canned peaches over each square, and refrigerate until serving time, the yellow cake tastes incredibly rich and flavorful.
The sugar-free brownie mixes are available in chocolate fudge and milk chocolate flavors. The fudge flavor is the most satisfying of the two, more like dark chocolate, while the milk chocolate is a tad too sweet. The texture of both, however, resemble “real” (as in made with sugar) brownies.
Last but definitely not least: sugar-free frosting in chocolate fudge and vanilla. Both frosting flavors spread smoothly, with the finished appearance resembling regular frosting. The flavor of the chocolate fudge, however, wins over the vanilla (the vanilla tastes artificial, while the chocolate is blissfully rich!).
2. Ideal sweeteners
Sweeteners made with the natural ingredient xylitol, Ideal zero-calorie packets are perfect for flavoring your coffee, tea, cereal, and other foods. They mix well, and there is no after-taste problem, as with some other types of zero-calorie sweeteners. In addition, the company recently added Ideal Brown sugar to their line-up. With zero calories, the brown Ideal artificial sweetener is fabulous in foods such as oatmeal.
3. Stevia Extract in the Raw
This zero-calorie sweetener also eliminates the issue of the “aftertaste” with other types of artificial sweeteners. Made from the Stevia plant, it works well with cooking and baking as well as in uses such as stirring into a hot beverage. Available in packets as well as in a bag version, Stevia is another easy way to satisfy your sweet tooth without sacrificing your diet.
4. Sweet’n’Low Brown
Did you say you wanted more choices? Not a problem in 2011! Sweet’n’Low has come out with a brown sugar version. Zero calories per serving, this variety has a marvelous molasses flavor. I mixed about a teaspoon of sweet’n’low brown into a cup of plain Greek nonfat yogurt with a fourth-teaspoon each of cinnamon and apple pie spice. I served this over a baked Rome Beauty apple for my lunch and experienced the diet version of dessert heaven!
So there you have it: cake, brownies, frosting, and sweeteners for 2011, served up with a generous spoonful of freedom from guilt!